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Study Says Crime Shot Up Around LA's Shuttered Pot Shops

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The RAND Corporation released a report yesterday claiming that the city's 2010 crackdown on marijuana dispensaries had some unintended consequences--a jump in crime in the neighborhoods where pot clinics closed. In the report, called "Regulating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: An Overview with Preliminary Evidence of Their Impact on Crime," RAND looked at crime reports around 600 dispensaries from ten days before some were ordered to closed until ten days after. The sample included 170 that remained open and 430 ordered to shutter (City Attorney Carmen Trutanich later announced that only 41 shops were allowed to continue operating). According to RAND's press release about the report: "The study found about 60 percent more reports of crime within three blocks of a closed dispensary relative to the same distance around an open dispensary. The effect diminished with distance: within six blocks of a closed dispensary crime increased by 25 percent and by 10 blocks there was no perceptible change in crime."

Some of the policy makers responsible for the city's crackdown were a bit concerned with the findings of the report. According to an Associated Press article, City Councilmember Ed Reyes called the report an "eye-opener," but said that since it looked at only a short period of time, it should be continued to examine any longer trends. The City Attorney's Office wasn't so diplomatic, calling the study "deeply flawed." Their statement said "It relies exclusively upon faulty assumptions, conjecture, irrelevant data, untested measurement and incomplete results."
· Crime Rises When Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Close [RAND Press Release]
· Study: Crime rose in LA near closed pot clinics [AP]
· This is Your Medical Marijuana Ordinance, Los Angeles [Curbed LA]